Hacked Gadgets Forum

March 9, 2014

Drone with a 80KV Stun Gun

at 9:46 pm. Filed under Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking


When you get tired of flying a regular hexcopter why not kick things up a notch and install a stun gun on the thing to protect your property!

“In the video above, CUPID (short for Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone) takes down an intern. He doesn’t get up with ease.”

February 23, 2014

Dummy Load Water Bucket

at 8:36 am. Filed under What Were They Thinking


When you need to ensure your power supply is up to snuff a dummy load is often used when it isn’t feasible to test with the real load. You will often see this on a big scale when load testing emergency generators. Normally you would use a large resistive load that is air cooled by fans.  Mikeselectricstuff demonstrates his array of resistive loads but for a new project he didn’t want to build another one for his new project so he did some out of the box thinking. He shorted the output of the power supply with the right length of light gauge wire to draw the load needed. Normally this type of wire would heat up and melt with any significant load so he put it into a large tub of water to allow for direct cooling. The wire he selected is enameled so that it doesn’t short out to adjacent wires in the tub but provides for virtually no thermal resistance so the water can draw away the heat. 

February 12, 2014

SMD Soldering on Hot Sand

at 10:43 am. Filed under What Were They Thinking


When Oliver Krohn isn’t using an Arduino to control the temperature climate chambers he is soldering SMD parts on hot sand! I guess the skillet and toaster oven is not cool anymore. 🙂 He is using a bunsen burner to heat the sand but anything would work as long as you can get the correct temperature. Might be a little hard trying to follow the reflow curve of some parts but in a pinch it looks like it should work well. I guess you could even get a really good temperature measurement by just jabbing a temperature probe into the middle of your hot sand. Oliver is tinning the pads with solder but if you started from cold sand or drop your board onto the bed of hot sand I am thinking you could also use some solder paste and place your components prior to heating. This might be a great backyard soldering experiment using a bucket of sand heated using a fresnel lens on a hot day.

January 21, 2014

RumbleRail – Floppy Disk Jukebox

at 6:51 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking



 If you still have a few floppy drives left over after making your Floppy Drive CNC machine have a look at making some music by making a Floppy Disk Jukebox!

 “The overall setup is completly modular. Each floppy is connected to its own floppy driver (rrfdc), which in turn speaks I²C with the main board (rrcmd). On power-on the main board auto-discovers the connected floppies and adjusts the software to utilize the available drives. In theory the amount of floppies connected to RumbleRail is only limited by I²C address/bus restrictions.

The most important feature of RumbleRail is the ability to run standalone. After being powered-on, the main board scans the hotswapable SD card (rrsdc) and lists its content on the display. The user can browse through the selection using the rotary encoder and, once a song is selected, the main board decodes the MIDI file and streams the notes to the floppy drivers.”



December 21, 2013

Weiser and Kwikset Smart Key Insecurities

at 11:09 pm. Filed under What Were They Thinking


In the average year I need to change 5 or 6 sets of locks. My usual practice is to purchase an inexpensive lock from the local hardware store and simply toss out the original lock and install a new one. This is normally cheaper and faster than having the locks re-keyed. The old lock can also be used in less secure locations if desired. I was thinking it might be worth while to invest in a smart lock such as the  Kwikset Smart Key. In Canada they are branded Weiser but both were owned by Black and Decker so their smart locks are the same item under two names. Funny thing is they have a video that boasts how safe they are since they can’t be opened with a bump key.

The in store demonstrations look great and I can imagine how simple it would be to just walk into a locksmith and have him make 10 or 20 keys with a variety of random patterns so that a re-key of a lock would be as simple as tossing the original keys, taking a new random one and programing it in the lock. Turns out while this technology looks awesome, the actual lock mechanism is a piece of garbage. I was looking for some information on how the actual lock system worked and was able to be re-keyed. I didn’t find this information (If you have a link, please share!) but what I did find was how insecure this poor excuse for a lock actually is.

 I am not saying that the average lock is much of a defense against someone who wants to defeat it since on occasion I have had the need to get through a lock that was changed without my permission. I have never attempted to pick a lock but I have never spent more than 2 or 3 minutes with a nice powerful drill and a decent drill bit.

The marketing video above looks fantastic, how could you go wrong with such an innovative product? Then when you see the videos below you will see how terrible the lock actually is… Too bad Kevo is built on top of this crappy platform.

 UPDATE: Thanks to Dave who provided this link that describes how the lock works. Shane Lawson also created a method of decoding the lock, this video has been entered as the last video below.



Arduino used in Semi-Automatic Production Line Equipment

at 7:54 pm. Filed under Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking

Arduino used in Semi-Automatic Production Line Equipment


When you walk through a factory full of automated machines that are doing repetitive tasks you will usually see a large metal electrical cabinet beside each machine. Inside that box will most likely be a PLC that is controlling the machine by monitoring inputs and controlling motors and valves. This all sounds fine until you look at the price of this equipment, $10 or $20K will get you a decent PLC system but you will get a truck load of Arduino gear for that.

Alexander Kozusyev turned to Arduino to provide some simple automation to a production line. I can just imagine the amount of money that was saved. I understand that an Arduino isn’t a true comparison to the rugged nature of PLC equipment that will run in the nastiest production environment in sweltering heat 24 hours a day. But in some situations I think it might make an interesting alternative.

Via: Arduino Blog

“Production line has two independent CNC 3-axis manipulator. The first spraying of release agent. Second automatic pouring polyurethane into the mold. Before spraying or pouring read RFID unique code for the mold, and then loads the G-CODE from the database server based MySQL. After pouring, the mould is moved to the waiting area.”


September 19, 2013

Heavy Lifting Copters

at 11:39 pm. Filed under Funny Hacks, Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking


Hobby King had a great plan to get people building big lifting copters. They call it the Beer Lift but water is used as a substitute although I am sure an equal weight of beer is weighting behind the scenes for enjoying after the competition. The last video isn’t a heavy lift but make sure you watch what happens at 2:20, that is some good flying!





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